Students partner with industry

1st Place – Team #19 Benton County Health Dept.
1st Place – Team #19 Benton County Health Dept.
2nd Place – Team #15 Fewell Monument Co.
2nd Place – Team #15 Fewell Monument Co., with Prof. Mark Lehto
3rd Place – Team #9 Fiat Chrysler Co. with Prof. Lehto & & FCA representative
3rd Place – Team #9 Fiat Chrysler Co., with Prof. Lehto & FCA representative
Peer Choice – Team #8 Janus Dev. Services, Inc.
Peer Choice – Team #8 Janus Dev. Services, Inc.
Industry Relations Director Dave Kotterman announces the winners
Industry Relations Director Dave Kotterman announces the winners
Faculty, students and staff attended the poster exhibition
Faculty, students and staff attended the poster exhibition
Twenty student teams presented their finished research project posters at an exhibition on Dec. 8, and four winning teams were announced. Students not only learned about real-world business projects, but served companies by providing practical recommendations for improvements.

About 80 students were members of IE 431 Senior Design Capstone Project student teams. They worked on a wide variety of projects, and presented the final project posters to industry partners, IE faculty and grad students last week in Grissom Hall. Topics included designing a performance management system, streamlining factory production, improving a production schedule, and increasing work floor space utilization and organization.

One hundred forty people attended the poster exhibition in Grissom's Wang Student Excellence Center. Earlier that day, each team presented their findings to company representatives. IE faculty and graduate students voted on the four best projects, and these teams won a cash prize for their work.

“Having worked in industry for many years, I am constantly impressed with the creativity and unique solutions our seniors present," commented IE Industry Relations Director Dave Kotterman, who liaises with the companies and assists Dr. Mark Lehto, professor of the IE 431 Senior Capstone Design course. "Companies and organizations benefit by experiencing the potential that these future engineering hires are capable of delivering."

"What I learned through the IE design project is that an IE student is able to apply his knowledge in any industry, for any type of customer, in order to solve problems and improve organizations' performance," said Claudio Guardado, who spearheaded Innovation and Creativity for 1st place Team 19. The team's project was "Designing a Performance Management System" for the Benton County Health Department.

"Also, this real-life professional platform taught me to work successfully with an intercultural team, have a strategic thinking mindset, and generate a dynamic two-way communication channel with customers to achieve goals," he added.

"Senior Design was helpful in developing one of the most important skills to have as an IE, problem solving," said David Rejeski, Technical Lead for Team 15, which won 2nd place for the project "Production Streamlining in Monument Manufacturing" for the Fewell Monument Company of Scottsburg, IN. He continued, "As a result of this project I was able to view a production process I was unfamiliar with at first, understand that process and apply problem solving techniques from my IE classes in order to improve the process."

Rejeski’s fellow Team 15 member and Project Manager Corey Turner, said: "Senior Design taught me how to combine Industrial Engineering concepts to create real world solutions. I really enjoyed coming together as a team to create a quality product for our client."

Team 9's Julie Nunn agreed that the project encouraged her problem-solving abilities. "Over the course of the project, I learned how important creativity is when developing solutions to a problem," she said. "I also learned about some of the challenges of manufacturing production scheduling and the importance of teamwork." Her team produced the "SI-Electronic Variable Transmission Production Schedule" project for the FCA Kokomo Transmission Plant.

Team 8's project for Janus Developmental Services, Inc., "Increasing Work Floor Space Utilization and Organization", won the Peer Choice award. Project Manager Luciano Moriguchi said, "During Senior Design, I had the experience of managing the progression of our project as project manager. Getting over that limbo-state between design and testing/implementation phase was a huge step for our team and a big lesson for myself and my team."

Thirteen different companies attended, including the Benton County Health Department, the Buchanan Group, ConAgra Foods, Endress and Hauser, Evonik Corporation, Hormel Foods, the Lafayette Police Department, Lemongrass Restaurant, PepsiCo, Premier Auto Detailing and Wash, Purdue Dining Courts, RecycleForce, and Triumph Fabrications.

After an initial presentation on Sept. 27 to companies, IE faculty and grad students, the student teams worked all semester on the projects. The September poster session objective was to give the students an opportunity to present their projects, get expert opinions from faculty members and graduate students, and find faculty with expertise or interest in the problem to mentor them throughout the semester. The December exhibition showcased the teams’ findings.

Writer: DeEtte Starr,

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